Manly United continues unbeaten run


Manly United FC continued their unbeaten run to start the season with a 3-1 PlayStation 4 National Premier League NSW Men’s victory against Parramatta FC at Melita Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A first half goal from a very in-form Scott Balderson along with second half strikes from Dejan Pandurevic and Brendan Cholakian cancelled out a goal from Daniel Rezo as the visitors continue to power on.

The first real attacking chance of the game came in the 3rd minute when Manly’s Nikola Taneski was afforded some space but his cross went untroubled as it trickled out for a goal kick.

It was the visitors creating all the early pressure with the home side forced to break on the counter and they almost found a chance in the 5th minute after some neat passing but Manly were able to clear their lines.

In the 11th minute the visitors had a great chance to open the scoring when a cross from the left found an unmarked Dejan Pandurevic. However, the winger could only guide his header over the crossbar.

Both teams were going in strong as the game was being played predominantly in the middle of the park. A free kick in the 25th minute right on the edge of the area to Parramatta FC allowed Rezo to step up to the plate but it crashed into the left upright and went wide.

A free kick in the 27th minute, after a yellow card to defender Tomislav Mijic, led to the ball being curled into the box. Parramatta goalkeeper Ryan Norval couldn't handle the shot which almost led to a chance for the visitors.

The pressure would be too much for the home side and in the 31st minute Manly United got the breakthrough. Balderson found some space outside the box and hit a right foot shot that skimmed the underside of the crossbar and went in for the 1-0 lead.

Parramatta FC almost pulled one back in the 43rd minute after some confusion in the box led to the home side appealing for a penalty. However, the decision went the other way as they continued to look for the equaliser heading into the break.

It only took seven minutes into the second half for Manly United to double their lead and it was another long range effort as Pandurevic hit one low and hard into the bottom corner for the goal.

It took until the 63rd minute for the home side to hit back when a counter attack found the ball at the feet of Rezo who curled his shot from outside the box into the top corner to bring it back to 2-1.

Neither side could make genuine chances towards the back end of the second half until the 77th minute when the ball fell to an unmarked Cholakian who buried it from inside the box for a 3-1 lead.

The visitors could have had a fourth in the 85th minute when a header six yards out was put over the bar by Sipan Berti.

With less than five minutes of regular time remaining Pandurevic had the chance to get his second but his free kick could only hit the wall before he skied the rebound over the bar.

But that would be the last meaningful chance for either side as the visitors finished with the three points.

Winning coach Warren Grieve was ecstatic with the team’s performance and praised their hard work to start the season.

“Very proud of the boys. We worked all week because it's difficult to play on a synthetic pitch and come to a grass field with a bit of water underneath. It's a different type of game but I thought the boys did absolutely brilliant today” he said.

“Recruitment at the start of the season has given us depth and we've had players that have had to step out.

“We can only give them the information and they have to put it into practice and they have been tremendous at doing that at the start of the season.”

Parramatta FC head coach, Franco Cosentino, could still see some positives despite the result.

"I thought the performance was good. Baldy (Scott Balderson) hit a screamer for the first goal and you can’t do much about that,” he said.

“I thought we played well. We went 2-0 down and got back into the game at 2-1 and the momentum started coming back with us a little bit and then they get a third one.”

Manly United return home next week to take on Sydney Olympic FC while Parramatta travel to Lily's Football Centre to take on Blacktown FC.

Match Stats

Parramatta FC: 1 ( Rezo 63’)

Manly United FC 3 (Balderson 31’, Pandurevic 52’, Cholakian 77’)

Sunday 9th April 2017

Melita Stadium, Sefton.

Referee: A. Arndt

Assistant Referees: J. Tesoriero & J. Bell

Fourth Official: B. Wright

Parramatta FC: 3. CARBONI Christopher (MALLET Tom 75’) 15. CRIGHTON Jordan 4. FONDYKE Howard 17. GERSBACH Joshua 20. HAYDAR Ibrahim 11. JOHNSTONE (SAMA Nicolo 80’) 5. MIJIC Tomislav 1. NORVAL Ryan 16. OTT Jacob (9. SAMA Gosue 46’) 8. REZO Daniel 10. SAMA Marco

Substitutes Not Used:  21. FINCH Corey 14. GRIMA Luke 13. SAMA Nicolo

Yellow Cards: 5. MIJIC Tomislav 27’, CARBONI Christopher 64’

Red Cards: Nil

Manly United FC: 13. BALDERSON Scott (BERTI Sipan 70’) 10. CHOLAKIN Brendan 12. EGGER Leigh 21. FOX Joseph 3. LOBB Jamie 8. MACURA Sasha (FERGUSON Dominic 70’) 1. MITCHELL Dylan 4. OUGHTRED Travis 14. PANDUREVIC Dejan 11. TANESKI Nikola (19.SARIC Daniel 80’) 17. WILSON Sam

Substitutes Not Used: SUBS:  20. CATLIN Shaun 15. GALBRAITH Hamish

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Player Ratings:

3 – Dejan Pandurevic (Manly United FC)

2 - Scott Balderson (Manly United FC)

1 – Daniel Rezo (Parramatta FC)

-By Jake Bull, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Reporter, at Melita Stadium, Sefton.